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29 November 2023

Rolls-Royce launches redesigned lightest waterjet for naval market

Kamewa FF67 waterjet is suitable for a range of vessels. (MOHAMMED HAKEEM)

By Staff Writer

Rolls-Royce, the international power systems company, has launched a new waterjet for the naval market.

The Kamewa FF67 will be the latest in the FF-series of aluminium waterjets, which are the lightest and most powerful in their range.

The waterjet, available from late 2009, will also be suitable for commercial marine and offshore markets.

Rolls-Royce, which pioneered the application of waterjets in naval vessels, said the FF67 is an entirely new design incorporating built-in hydraulics for the first time. This will save installation time at shipyards and guarantee smooth start-up.

At high speeds, the unrivalled efficiency of waterjet propulsion offers either a greater top speed or better fuel economy. No reversing gearbox is required, stopping distances are short and the craft can turn on the spot or even manoeuvre sideways.

Jay Dagher, Area Manager-Naval for the Rolls-Royce marine business in the Middle East and South America, said: "The FF67 is suitable for a range of vessels, including large naval boats, fast ferries and crew boats. The FF series is a market leader and has sold more than 4,000 units since the first design was introduced to the market in the early 1980s."

Rolls-Royce has already provided Kamewa FF550 waterjets for 12 Fast Patrol Boats and four Fast Supply Vessels built by Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding ( ADSB) for the UAE Navy and UAE Coast Guard. Kamewa waterjets also help power the six 72-metre Baynunah Class corvettes that ADSB is building for the UAE Navy.

In addition, Kamewa FF375S waterjets also power the ADSB Sea Keeper high-speed landing craft. Kamewa waterjets in service in the Arabian Gulf will, following a deal signed in August 2008, be maintained at a new waterjet service centre being established with ADSB.

The FF67 will weigh approximately 1,650kg, including the hydraulic valve block, and the redesigned axial flow pump provides more thrust over the whole speed range. This offers higher bollard pull and improved acceleration. In addition, a completely new steering nozzle, developed from the Kamewa A3 series, allows turning at high speed. An improved reversing bucket system provides reversing efficiency of up to 65 per cent of forward thrust.

The lightweight design is achieved through a combination of an aluminium frame and an inlet duct made of welded aluminium sheet.